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    The Real Estate Development Matrix

    Daniel B. Kohlhepp Johns Hopkins Carey Business School Edward St. John Real Estate Program

    Presented at

    The American Real Estate Society Meetings St. Petersburg, Florida

    April 21, 2012

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    The Real Estate Development Matrix In this paper, the real estate development process is organized around a 56-cell, stage-task matrix, which describes the entire real estate development process in seven stages from the land banking stage to the redevelopment stage. In each stage, there are eight categories of tasks that need to be addressed. The main thesis of this interdisciplinary development model is that there are discrete stages in the process, and in each stage the real estate developer must (1) complete different tasks using specialized skills and thereby accepting certain risks and (2) employ various capital structures with different risk-return characteristics to create or capture the value increase in that stage. The seven stages in the model are: land banking, land packaging, land development, building development, building operation, building renovation, and site redevelopment. Each stage in the process begins with the acquisition tasks and ends with the disposition tasks. Each stage must also address, to some extent, the following categories of tasks (many of which are done simultaneously): financing, market research, approvals, environmental, improvement construction, and transportation and accessibility concerns. As with all real world applications of conceptual models, the lines separating the stages and the categories can be fuzzy. The Development Matrix can be used as a descriptive, normative, or predictive model. As a pedagogical tool, the Development matrix can help the student understand the process, risks, and value creation in real estate development.

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    I. INTRODUCTION A. Why Do We Need a Development Matrix? The real estate development process is a complex, time-consuming, capital intensive, multi-disciplinary, externality-generating, public-private endeavor. Unfortunately, the conceptual models used to describe this process are usually very simple.

    While easy to grasp, these models lead to confusion, frustration, duplicity, and extraordinary risk-taking as participants in the process have very different understandings of the development process. This paper suggests that this behavior is due in part to the lack of understanding about the nature of the development process and a clear roadmap that can help stakeholders and participants discuss where we are, where we are going, and how we get there. B. A Way to Discuss the Development Process In the same way that the United States Green Building Councils LEED Rating system has given the public and private sectors a language or rhetoric for discussing the environmental aspects of constructing buildings, the Development Matrix will give the development community and those impacted by the development a way to discuss the stages of development and the required tasks in each stage of development. Sustainable development and green building techniques are best understood and analyzed in the context of the life-cycle of the building, rather than at the beginning of building construction. The most important analysis of the sustainable nature of a development is made when the development is seeking various public approvals prior to the construction of horizontal (infrastructure) or vertical (building) improvements.

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    C. Multiple Players in the Development Process Defining a real estate developer is difficult although, like an entrepreneur, everyone knows one when they see one. In fact, the developer in the real estate process is really many different people playing many different roles in the in the process of creating value throughout the lifetime(s) of the property. D. What Kind of Model is This? The Development Matrix is an attempt to describe the complex, multidisciplinary nature of the real estate development process. The Matrix lays out what happens and who does it. Along those lines, the Matrix predicts what happens when in the development process. Finally the Matrix indicates what should happen, who should do it, and when it should be done. Thus, the Development Model is descriptive, predictive, and normative E. Outline of the Paper The next section of the paper is a review of the development process as described by James Graaskamp and of some of the most popular text books on real estate development, finance and appraisal. This is followed by a description of the seven stages of development and the eight task categories in each stage. The stages and tasks are then combined into a 56-cell development matrix. Finally the paper is summarized and the next steps are discussed.

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    I. Review of the Literature

    The review of the literature begins with James Graaskamps early work1 and then examines several of the most well know and popular text books on development , finance and valuation in terms of how the real estate development process is described and explained. A. Grasskamps Early Work on Real Estate Development: The Fundamentals of Real Estate Development2 In this article, Graaskamp sets the stage for the discussion of complexities and nuances of the real estate development process. He writes:

    "Unlike many mass-production industries, each real estate project is unique and the development process is so much a creature of the political process that society has a new opportunity with each major project to negotiate, debate, and reconsider the basic issues of an enterprise economy, i.e., who pays, who benefits, who risks, and who has standing to participate in the decision process. Thus the development process remains a high-silhouette topic for an articulate and politically sophisticated society.3

    Graaskamp expands his definition of real estate development to include the entire economic and physical life of the development as it is planned, built, renovated and redeveloped. He writes:

    "The creation and management of space-time in earth is termed real estate development. Real estate developments range from a simple cave to complex technology of the Park Avenue skyscraper. Like a manufactured product, a

    1 In 1973, Ohio State University Professor Ronald L. Racster invited University of Wisconsin Professor James A. Grasskamp to Columbus, Ohio to address a group of real estate practitioners about land development. Graduate student Norman G. Miller corresponded with Professor Graaskamp, and his presentation, A Land Investment Seminar, was scheduled for December 1, 1973 at the Christopher Inn in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Racster assigned me, an eager graduate student, to be Dr. Graaskamps personal assistant for the day. I was unprepared for Dr Graaskamps physical condition and totally unprepared for his presentation on land development. His explanation of the land development process was a watershed day for me, and his critical thinking about the stages of the process, the tasks involved, and the skills required in each stage became an integral part of my real estate self-identity. Through several panel discussions like this one, I became friends with Jim, and, in the process, I became even more respectful of his critical thinking and its influence on my future career. Over the last 39 years, I have lost my notes from that lecture, but recently Dr. Elaine Worzala found Graaskamps archived notes for this seminar and sent me a copy. Reading his notes again was like having a conversation with an old friend. I think of him every day as I thrash through the stages of real estate development and deal with the risks and returns on a real-time basis. The correct citation of his notes is: James A. Graaskamp Collection of Teaching Materials. V. Industry Seminars and Speeches Sponsored by Other Universities.

    10. Land Investment Seminar, sponsored by R.E. Educational Services, Inc., Columbus, OH, December 1, 1973 at the Christopher Inn.

    2 Stephen P. Jarchow editor, "The Fundamentals of Real Estate Development," Graaskamp on Real Estate. Washington, DC: ULI The Urban Land Institute, 1991. This article is reprinted with permission from Development Component Series, Washington, DC: ULI 1981 3 Ibid, p. 228. In the same article, Graaskamp famously describes the first real estate development: "Someone rolled a rock to the entrance of a cave and created an enclosed space for his family a warmer, more defensible shelter, distinct from the surrounding environment. This can be called the first real estate development. Since then real estate activity has taken many forms to meet the needs of man and his society. Once based on need and custom real estate is now based on social economics and statute.

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    real estate project is part of a larger physical system programmed to achieve long-term objectives, but each real estate project is also a small business enterprise of its own. Thus, the development process is a continuum of construction technology,


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